First Great Western kicked my cat, and my cat was not happy. He was kicked so hard he resembled a magenta mouse! In a dazzling sleight of hand, FGW then Rebranded to Great Western Railway, GWR, and kicked my cat again! He turned a curious shade of blue-green! Apparently this unusual colour is known as “Distinguished Sage”! Like, whatever, Hopwood!
Nobody noticed the Rebrand taking place, so the Great Western Phoenix rose from the flames as a beautiful, new, customer-centric company! Not a broken toilet or overcrowded carriage in sight!
The Air Con Is On The Fritz.. Again!
We started the web site in late 2012, and were guaranteed working air conditioning in 2013! We were also guaranteed working air conditioning in 2014! There was still no sign of working air conditioning in 2015, and in 2016, it looks like GWR have given up on working air conditioning! Back to the same old excuses! You’ll see a common pattern! It’s a little bit embarrassing, is it not, Mister Hopwood and Mister Mellors?
On 1st April 2016, GWR celebrates 10 years of exclusive running of the Great Western rail franchise! It will probably take 10 years for us to find something worth celebrating!
Jam tomorrow, #teamhipflask! How many more years do they need?
Here’s today’s status:
Hello to you, Mister Mark "Horatio" Hopwood, Mister Ben Rule, Mister Andy Mellors, Mister Ben Caswell, Ms Sue Evans, Mister Matthew Golton, Ms Diane Burke, and Ms Sharon Johnston. We hope you browse the site and find something of interest! You can Rebrand, but it doesn’t change the past!
Life lessons: 1) don't cut your own fringe 2) don't eat yellow snow 3) don't rely on First Great Western
— Polly Katherine (@pollykatherine5) April 30, 2016
@GWRHelp @abitlikealexa and remember alexa, being crammed in like battery hens is part of the second class experience GWR are aiming for
— (((Mark Setrem))) (@ukmoose) May 6, 2016
@GWRHelp @hiddendreams1 There are lots of 'extra' carriages but they're stuck in sidings waiting for repair and to be painted green.
— Crap GWR (@Crap_GWR) May 6, 2016
Anything important I need to get to I have to allow at least an hour extra fuckery time when using @GWRHelp beyond a joke.
— Luminousbeige (@LuminousBeige) May 6, 2016
@GWRHelp @Steviem1971 I'm on the same train. The aircon hasn't worked on these on hot days for at least 3 years. Why still not fixed?
— Ian (@Ranger55821) May 8, 2016
Our first @GWRHelp @GWRUK assurance that the Broken Air Con will be looked into Urgently! First assurance of 2016..! pic.twitter.com/jWik5lUlxP
— GWR Kicked My Cat! (@teamhipflask) May 8, 2016
@GWRHelp Is it true that your thames valley timetable is nominated for the Booker Prize?
— Rochdale Cowboy (@Rochdale_Cowboy) May 11, 2016
Morning @GWRUK @GWRHelp, is it just me or is this unsafe? This is DID on Platform 1. "Wet floor" = understatement! 😳 pic.twitter.com/eEvfpbluKT
— Stefan Paetow MCIJ (@stefanpaetow) May 11, 2016
@Crap_GWR @gamermohan @megablst @GWRHelp feel sorry for the ones on the front line as dealing with fall out from a poorly managed company
— kate smith (@SmitKate) May 12, 2016
@GWRHelp @RobFitz10 Hi James. Is our view that painting trains seems more important than running a reliable service reported to managers?
— Bill (@Sospirando) May 12, 2016
I must start looking for another job. This daily commuting hell is becoming unbearable. @GWRHelp @networkrail your incompetence is shocking
— Elena B (@El_dreamy) May 12, 2016
Another Shortage of @GWRHelp Rolling Stock! Squeeze on, folks! "Investing in New Trains, not Maintaining Current!" pic.twitter.com/FOfAHJMRw5
— GWR Kicked My Cat! (@teamhipflask) May 12, 2016
It's OK, Andy @GWRHelp! Nobody will notice the rather strange Contradiction! Shortage of Rolling Stock it is! pic.twitter.com/lYfknvKihP
— GWR Kicked My Cat! (@teamhipflask) May 13, 2016
Broken air con always guaranteed on @GWRUK. Freezing cold Cardiff to Reading. Boiling hot with no windows Reading to Dorking.
— Globbits (@Globbits_) May 15, 2016
@GWRHelp air conditioning not working on 6.53 TWY to PAD, woman has just fainted
— Happy commuter (@anothercommuter) May 16, 2016
@GWRHelp Bring back @FGW all is forgiven
— Steve Blair (@Savethebuffet) May 16, 2016
@teamhipflask @GWRHelp pic.twitter.com/AF8oiqENNl
— Paul (@Dogtrouser) May 18, 2016
For anyone considering sleeper train to London – don't. Caught it twice this year, broken down both times. @GWRUK is an utter shambles.
— Oliver Berry (@olivertomberry) May 20, 2016
@GWRHelp @GWRHelp thanks Lucy I'll just sit it out here until the WIFI connects. #firstgreatwestern pic.twitter.com/G5A6mHsuq6
— Shaun Preece (@shaunpreece) May 21, 2016
@teamhipflask @Writer53 pic.twitter.com/FSYdmECUEK
— James Le Roth (@jcleroth) May 21, 2016
@GWRHelp Rather than messing around rebranding, wouldn't it have been better investing in trains that worked?
— Neil (@Sonning_Neil) May 24, 2016
Sat on a stuck @GWRHelp train because the service ahead had broken down. This happens far,far too often
— Swampy (@swampy990) May 24, 2016
@GWRHelp ever thought of actually maintaining any of your trains?
— LateWorstenFailway (@SimonHogfress) May 24, 2016
@Crap_GWR @GWRHelp pic.twitter.com/tzeL1o1BkA
— Paul (@Dogtrouser) May 24, 2016
@GWRHelp Hands down THE worst train experience I have ever had. Cattle get treated better than this! #notsogreatwestern
— Emory Garrett (@Emory_Garrett) May 27, 2016
Over the moon at only being 20 minutes delayed on this morning's @GWRUK service. Previous experience had me expecting much worse.
— Tom Turner (@tomturneruk) May 28, 2016
@YoungCommuter @GWRHelp Frankly, when it comes to @GWRUK , your ticket doesn't buy guarantee of anything. Seat, timeliness, good service.
— Alan Crosby (@alancrosbyuk) May 28, 2016
Wondering if @GWRHelp are actually trying to cook it's passengers! @teamhipflask
— Dilapidated Boat (@joshyeh) May 28, 2016
@GWRHelp Awful service from Padd 12:05 train rammed and one lady has just passed out. If there was an accident or fire we'd have no chance.
— Juliet Binns (@JulietBinns) May 31, 2016
: @GWRHelp If he'd asked the driver really nicely, could he have sat on his/her knee instead…? pic.twitter.com/dOKxV6Xo2H
— Alan Crosby (@alancrosbyuk) May 31, 2016
Impeccable timing of @GWRUK on train survey tonight. Collected up before the train broke down and we all had to get off…
— Justine H (@SeatInTheStalls) May 31, 2016
@GWRUK why is it that EVERY time I travel with you – peak or off peak – I'm standing on a cramped train for the entire journey?
— Natasha Marsh (@N4T4SH4sSP4CE) June 5, 2016
The sauna broke at your gym? I can highly recommend the @GWRUK Paddington to Cardiff train service. And it only costs £221.50 for two hours.
— Mike Bubbins (@MikeBubbins) June 6, 2016
@GWRHelp looks like you still haven't fixed the aircon that was broken last summer, or the summer before that, and the summer before that.
— Mr Pavl (@mr_pavl) June 7, 2016
Sorry @GWRUK but in what way is your service "stress busting"? It causes me BURSTS of stress, it doesn't bust stress pic.twitter.com/seF5bNz66m
— Sophia Swain (@SophiaIsabella) June 7, 2016
So hot on this crappy @GWRUK 8.11 to Paddington we've just had a verbal altercation between several guys who are dying of heat exhaustion
— Sophia Swain (@SophiaIsabella) June 8, 2016
The ramifications of you cancelling one service means the next one is so packed that commuters actually want to get off for safety @GWRHelp
— Zammo (@Zammathon) June 8, 2016
@GWRHelp it's irrelevant whether it's the first or last you CANNOT treat fare paying people like cattle end of !!
— janette evans (@janfootball) June 9, 2016
@GWRHelp are you having a laugh? pic.twitter.com/ijNFTlMn3z
— Ollie Davis (@oliver_davis) June 9, 2016
It's hot. It's Friday. Want to get home, but stuck behind a broken @GWRHelp on fire near Southall. #cockwombles
— Kevin James (@atomicvindaloo) June 10, 2016
@GWRHelp That's three train fires you've had in the last few weeks. Should we feel unsafe? Will @raibgovuk be investigating shortcomings? 🔥
— Alan Crosby (@alancrosbyuk) June 10, 2016
@teamhipflask @GWRHelp Turns out that the knock-off GREEEEEEEN PAINT was the extremely flammable kind. #BrunelSpinningInHisGrave
— Alan Crosby (@alancrosbyuk) June 10, 2016
Assumed @GWRHelp were handing out bottles of water because of warm weather. Turns out it's for passengers to put fires out on their trains!
— Rochdale Cowboy (@Rochdale_Cowboy) June 10, 2016
@charlescartland @GWRHelp Hopwood sees the government as "the customer" and moving "sets" around as the job. Passengers are an inconvenience
— Simon Gillespie (@SimonGillespie8) June 10, 2016
@GWRHelp don't worry 25 days in a row using your trains and 25 days in a row not had one journey arrive on time
— Lee Stewart (@ls_1983) June 17, 2016
@GWRHelp Cherry on the cake or rather sweet corn on the turd… broken doors…. then there's the doors 90 seconds early announcements!
— Ungoogleable (@all_sweetness) June 20, 2016
I'm wondering when @GWRHelp will increase season ticket prices and formally advertise a sauna service. #NoAirCon #SameCrapDifferentDay
— BrownE (@BrownELJ) June 21, 2016
Q : How do you get this many people on a @GWRHelp 2 carriage train?
A: you don't. pic.twitter.com/JrnKCRKWYH
— Crispin Veall (@crispibits) June 21, 2016
@GWRHelp any chance the 00:34 pad to reading could be sent on time? 13 nights running delayed or cancelled. Ridiculous.
— Danny King (@dannyMFCking) June 21, 2016
@GWRHelp I can only describe your franchise as "time thieves" #delays #dayafterday
— Warren Geraghty (@wazza5) June 22, 2016
@GWRHelp you make my commute unbearable. To be late every single morning and evening what sort of incompetent company are you.
— SB (@SophieVictoria0) June 23, 2016
10:28 train from Swansea to London Paddington, and there's rainwater streaming in from the top of the window. Nice. @GWRUK
— Shane Kinsey (@Kingsforever89) June 29, 2016
Remember not to ask @GWRHelp for any 'help'… pic.twitter.com/XJoSZkLKCV
— Leigh Baker (@LeighFenners) June 30, 2016
FIRST CLASS on @GWRUK doesn't stretch to spelling, then…
😳 @GWRHelp (Sadly, we are travelling STANDARD CLAS…) pic.twitter.com/ctp3b6EgeF
— POLPO Restaurants (@Polpo) July 4, 2016
@gwrhelp rainwater pouring down walls inside train… Electric lighting… Metal walls… Hmmmmm…
— Illustrated Pamphlet (@Rickenhacker) July 12, 2016
@GWRHelp only 2 carriages bristol>yate at 10pm 16/7/16. So packed that the heat made a man collapse & have an ambulance called. You're shit!
— Tom (@Tstretton96) July 17, 2016
@GWRUK why are your trains always broken??
— rolie polie olie (@olivuuuur) July 18, 2016
@GWRHelp why aren't we just able to open windows?? They are nailed shut! You wouldn't keep a dog in this condition! #GWR #fail #sweltering
— zoe stavrou (@zoestavs) July 18, 2016
@gwrhelp no air con, a bottle of warm water as compensation. 45 mins late. Waiting for a 'crew member', no wifi. You're pretty rubbish
— Paul Marshall (@Nhoodmonkey) July 18, 2016
@GWRHelp @Becca_Landon Lol! Several Years of Broken Air Con is the weather's fault!
— GWR Kicked My Cat! (@teamhipflask) July 18, 2016
@GWRHelp irony pic.twitter.com/47JIe9jWlV
— Richard Turner (@richj_t) July 18, 2016
@skdshane @hatmanbaby Too hot. Too cold. Too wet. Too dry. Too cloudy. There's not an excuse in the world that @GWRHelp haven't used.
— Steven Baker (@bakerssssss) July 19, 2016
@GWRHelp I am sitting on a train at Paddington, delayed as usual with no aircon how is it possible every single summer we have this mess.
— Roger gardner (@Rogerga51372785) July 19, 2016
: @GWRUK / @GWRHelp automated announcemnt abt train doors locked 40s before departure to ensure trains run on time, when train 16mi late 😂😕😡
— Alan Crosby (@alancrosbyuk) July 24, 2016
Amazing arrogance when you ask 5 times in a day for a reply from @GWRHelp as helpful as ever. @teamhipflask pic.twitter.com/rIVKUsJChg
— Lee Stewart (@ls_1983) July 24, 2016
@GWRHelp Ticket Inspectors at Ealing didn't seem too happy when I asked them where their punctual service was when they asked for my ticket.
— Young Commuter (@YoungCommuter) July 22, 2016
@GWRUK I'm travelling in the vestibule cause u don't provide enough seats in Std Class. pic.twitter.com/vOh7cNPg5I
— Dontlabelme (@TauhidAli4) August 10, 2016
@GWR_help @GWRHelp just seen Mark Hopwood getting off my train at reading. Needless to say it was late.
— GWR Commuter (@fgwcommute) August 11, 2016
It's fine to prioritise profits, @GWRUK, but be more upfront about it. Maybe a new slogan? 'Everyone can get on (but not necessarily off)'?
— Huw Davies (@thehuwdavies) August 12, 2016
Good work @gwrhelp! Nobody's noticed the slight hole in your Overcrowding explanations! pic.twitter.com/MetotfCMWq
— GWR Kicked My Cat! (@teamhipflask) August 16, 2016
@GWRHelp 18:33 broke down last night. Delays this morning. Always a pleasure to travel on GWR
— DAMNUGWR (@damnuGWR) August 17, 2016
First work meeting I attend in five months and @GWRHelp makes me late for it. Stuck behind 2 broken trains and 3 others. Nothing changes.
— Charlotte Sjöberg (@1981CSS) August 17, 2016
@GWRHelp great quote from train manager over the tannoy "trains are always late this time of day" !!! Can I recommend you don't say that ??
— Binu Mohan (@gamermohan) August 18, 2016
To absolutely no-one's surprise, @GWRHelp's re-branding turns out to be the marketing equivalent of sprinkling some glitter on a giant turd.
— ZM (@_bandwagonesque) August 18, 2016
@EllieGorman @dawneedoolittle @GWRHelp its 3 wks. Is there a correlation b/w crap service and customer contact nos? pic.twitter.com/3JEGZBMzvJ
— Rochdale Cowboy (@Rochdale_Cowboy) August 18, 2016
@GWRUK announcement on super busy 1903 to Penzance "we did not force you to get on this train…it's your choice to be standing" #fail #poor
— Andrew Savill (@Andrew_Savill) August 19, 2016
Nice @GWRUK announcement. "Passengers with no seats, we did not force you on this service. If you don't like standing, get off at Reading."
— Andy Welch (@andywelch81) August 19, 2016
Another day, another morning cancellation due to a 'train fault'. In every respect the first group companies are quite appalling. @GWRUK
— Aaron (@ImpactCollide) August 20, 2016
@GWRHelp these trains are like stepping into a bloody sauna. Something needs to be done. This is ridiculous.
— Deepi Kaur (@Deepi_K) August 24, 2016
If @GWRHelp had to give a £1 per passenger for every minute their trains were late….maybe they'd get their act together?! @GWRUK
— shelleykeen (@shelleykeen) August 25, 2016
Another day, another @GWRUK @GWRHelp train delayed by an earlier broken down train. Your incompetence is truly staggering
— Alex Thomas (@AlThomas1989) August 25, 2016
@GWRHelp hi Great Western! Quick question ❓ why are you such a shambles?
— Edward Bayliss (@ebay81) August 26, 2016
Please go easy on my cat. And the customers!
What you can do to help
If you agree with any of the points raised on the site by fare-paying world-weary customers, then please:
- Complain direct to FGW, GWR, or what ever their name is this month, at [email protected], although you won’t receive a reply within the stated 5 days (there’s a constant backlog of 2-3 weeks!).
- Tag your tweets with #gwr and we’ll find them!
- Retweet tweets on the website, reply to keep the conversation going, or let @GWRHelp know
- Drop us tweet or an e-mail with photos
- Try not to be subverted by the @GWRHelp Twitter Public Relations Machine! Free Pasties will only buy so much Patience!
- Link through to the website and spread the word!
Unless customers complain, Horatio Hopwood and his horde of harpies will remain oblivious to issues or continue to bury their heads in the sand! The Office for Rail Regulation may not recognise social media as a valid source of complaints, but we do! When the Social Media team eventually blocks you, carry on making complaints to [email protected]!
@simonrburch @FGW we have to keep going. Like dory in finding memo. "Just keep tweeting, complaining, moaning…" Something has to change.
— Alex Duce (@slugdaddy) October 9, 2013
You’re spot on, Alex! Just keep swimming!
xx Cat and Co.